Recently I received a call from Dana who wanted to support the Wander for Truth cause while I stayed in San Luis Obispo. He offered me a private room at his community complex, connected to a large kitchen and lounge room. When I arrived, he had left a bowl of fruit, bottles of coconut water, and a potted plant to welcome me. Almost every morning, we chanted together and then he treated me to breakfast. Sometimes he would juice fresh organic vegetables and share the drink with both me and his neighbor who had had a difficult operation recently.
One morning, we sat together by the Rock at Morro Bay and chanted 108 mantras for the Ocean and all the beings in it. A seagull alighted on a bolder behind us and listened to the sound of the holy name. Sunlight sparkled on the waves. The Ocean calmly held all of these waves. It was a clear symbol of Swamiji.
Dana coordinated a special satsang at the community building and invited everyone in the co-housing complex. That night, I expressed stories about the Buddha, and we chanted mantras connected to the Buddha's energy. A beautiful stillness opened in the space of the gathering. Buddha had come. Later on, I discovered that many of the attendees were practicing Buddhism - a lovely synchronicity.
After one satsang in San Luis Obispo, Dana and I went home to celebrate Shivaratri. It was my last night there. We lit a candle for Shiva and did a puja, honoring the God of Transformation. I went through the 1,000 names of Shiva. Halfway through, I started to laugh uncontrollably, and Dana began to laugh. We laughed for a few minutes with tears in our eyes. The mantra I was chanting had so many syllables. I tried saying it but I kept breaking into laughter. It was difficult to go on. Finally I composed myself and finished the rest of the holy names. It was so delightful to honor Shiva. The energy washed over the room and cleansed us with His Presence. It cleansed the world...
Dana and I parted in friendship...in brotherhood...in devotion.